Friday, September 04, 2015

The Sun, in All His Splendor, Wears Thy Beams

On the Works of Creation
by Elizabeth Rowe

Beauty complete, and majesty divine,
In all thy works, ador'd Creator, shine.
Where'er I cast my wond'ring eyes around,
The God I seek in ev'ry part is found.
Pursuing thee, the flow'ry fields I trace,
And read thy name on ev'ry spire of grass.
I follow thee thro' many a lonely shade,
And find thee in the solitary glade.
I meet thee in the kind, refreshing gale,
That gently passes thro' the dewy vale.
The pink, the jess'min, and the purple rose,
Perfum'd by thee, their fragrant leaves disclose.
The feather'd choir that welcome in the spring,
By thee were taught their various notes to sing.
By thee the morning in her crimson vest,
And ornaments of golden clouds is drest.
The sun, in all his splendor, wears thy beams,
And drinks in light from thy exhaustless streams.
The moon reveals thee by her glimm'ring ray;
Unnumber'd stars thy glorious paths display.
Amidst the solemn darkness of the night,
The thoughts of God my musing soul delight.
Thick shades and night thy dread pavilion form;
In state thou rid'st upon the flying storm;
While thy strong hand its fiercest rage restrains,
And holds the wild, unmanag'd winds in reins.
What sparklings of thy majesty appear,
When thro' the firmament swift lightnings glare?
When peals of thunder fill the skies around,
I hear thy voice in the tremendous sound.
But oh! how small a part is known of thee,
From all thy works immense variety?
Whatever mortal men perfection name,
Thou, in an infinite degree, dost claim.

And while I here thy faintest shadows trace,
I pine to see the glories of thy face;
Where beauty in its never changing height,
And uncreated excellence shines bright.
When shall the heav'nly scene; without controul,
Open in dazzling triumph on my soul?
My pow'rs with all their ardor shall adore,
And languish for terrestrial charms no more.

Rowe (1674-1737) was extraordinarily popular at one time, and for nearly a century; her work was praised by the likes of Pope and Johnson. Since her poetic work was mostly didactic poetry, people stopped reading her poems as didactic poetry became less commonly read and she mostly vanished from the view of everyone except a handful of specialists.

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